Croatian Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic and his Slovenian counterpart Vesna Gjerkes Znidar met in Ljubljana on Monday to discuss the migrant crisis, agreeing that solutions should be joint and comprehensive and that the states on the migrant route should cooperate as well as possible.
Orepic said after the talks that the migrant crisis was essentially a humanitarian issue and that one should take that into account, but that one should also understand that Germany and Austria, as the main destinations, were the most burdened by the crisis.
When those countries stop taking in refugees and migrants, it will be necessary to separate reception and transit, and until then it is necessary to develop solutions to deal with the problems from the Macedonian border to the final destinations, Orepic said, adding that the key issue was to ensure transport and accommodation after migrants were profiled in Macedonia.
Gjerkes Znidar said Orepic and she pushed for cooperation in controlling migration, and highlighted efforts to establish effective control on the Macedonian-Greek border, which was initiated by Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar.
“We can’t solve the migrant crisis with unilateral measures. It’s necessary to seek joint and comprehensive solutions,” she said, adding that the migrant wave should be reduced.
She said that Slovenia, in line with the European Council’s latest recommendations, would consistently enforce Schengen rules on its border with Croatia. She said it was necessary to keep on the EU’s external borders the migrants who did not meet the criteria to enter the EU and the Schengen Area or did not request asylum in the countries where they could have.
“The messages from the last EU summit are clear. Croatia is a member of the EU and a candidate for membership in Schengen. Its task is to protect the external EU border. I’m glad the new Croatian government is aware of those obligations,” she said, adding that Orepic assured her that Croatia and Slovenia would exchange information on the transit of migrants regularly and in a timely manner.